Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant Awarded!

Our year of fundraising has been capped off with some very welcome news!  Our Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant application was successful.  Here is the posting from the Foundation website that pretty well sums it up!
Town of Carleton Place $15,000 over one year to create a permanent, publicly accessible labyrinth on the grounds of the Victoria School Museum for residents of all ages and abilities.
Thanks to everyone who has helped along the way to make our dream of establishing a permanent labyrinth in Carleton Place a reality!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Creating a Beach Labyrinth!

I recently had a wonderful opportunity to travel to Sanibel Island, Florida with a very good friend of mine.  We stayed with her parents at their condo and had lots of time to walk on the beach.  It seemed like the perfect time to build a Beach Labyrinth!  Following is my journal entry about the experience...

Today was beach labyrinth day!  We headed to the beach around 10:30 in the morning, not a cloud in the sky and it is around 70 F.  We walked towards Bowman's Beach first, then headed the other way to find the perfect labyrinth making spot.  I brought my beach labyrinth making materials with me: step by step instructions from Melissa Gayle West's book ; an image of the Chartres labyrinth; two garden stakes and a long piece of white rope.
I started laying out 12 concentric circles.  I kept the centre small intentionally (2 1/2 - 3 ft. across) to keep the overall size of the labyrinth manageable. I then found the entrance and marked off the four directions on the outer edge of the circle. And slowly, but surely I carefully walked and laid out the Chartres Labyrinth pattern on the beach! 

Eventually I stuck Pen Shells in the sand to mark each turning point! My friend's mom helped to build a dyke and a wall of Pen Shells to protect the labyrinth from the incoming tide.  The wall followed the curve of the edge of the labyrinth - and it helped to contain the space nicely.  People were drawn to the space and asked about what I was creating. 
The finishing detail was to add small shells in between the petals of the rose at the centre - and then I did the full walk.  The most magical moment of all - as I was walking - I sensed something and looked up to see several dolphins cavorting and playing joyfully in the ocean!  I stopped for that moment and felt simply amazed by the day and the whole experience.  And this simple thought entered my mind: 

"Out with the old, in with the new!" 

The next morning I went back to find the labyrinth still there and could see some additional footprints on the path.  Someone else had enjoyed a meditative walk on my creation!  I am now back in the wintery landscape and I know that the beach labyrinth has been washed away - but the feeling of having done this lives on inside of me - and I feel refreshed and energized!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Building the Labyrinth!

Our dream of a creating a permanent community labyrinth in Carleton Place is coming true!  Here are some photos that capture the process...

Piles of pavers!
Future garden